How to Prepare Your Home's Exterior for Fall & Winter Weather

With winter fast approaching it is important to get your home ready for the lower temperatures. Some of the things that need to be done are quick and easy chores like blowing out the sprinkler system, cleaning the gutters or draining the swamp cooler. 

Additionally, you should think about taking some steps to increase the energy efficiency of your home and prevent heat from leaking out. These measures have a bigger upfront cost but will save you money on heating cost in the long run. They will also improve your home’s resale value and make it more comfortable to live in.

Most heat escapes through the walls and windows of your home. To prevent that and to make temperature control easier, there are things you can improve about your home’s exterior. Here are four ways to increase the energy efficiency of your house.

1. New James Hardie Siding

James Hardie fiber cement siding is thicker than other siding materials. That means that it offers more insulation than some other siding as well. Because of its insulative properties this siding lets less air escape your home.

Fiber cement siding can withstand changing weather conditions very well in general. It can stand up to hail and wind storms as well as cold winter temperatures. James Hardie siding is very durable and requires only very little maintenance. 

Not only does James Hardie siding offer better insulation and lower utility costs but it also looks great. You will have a huge amount of choices when it comes to style, texture and color of the siding. With this new siding you will raise your home’s curb appeal as well as it’s resale value.

2. Spray Foam Insulation

Insulation is a key factor in energy efficiency and savings. By adding insulation to your home, you can prevent warm air from escaping and drastically lower your utility bill. 

Spray foam insulation has a better R-value rating than traditional fiberglass insulation. The R-value indicates the resistance to heat flow. That means the higher the rating the better the insulation since less heat is lost.

This foam is sprayed into wall crevices and then it expands to fill them perfectly. That way all gaps are closed and sealed. Installing insulation makes a huge difference for your home’s energy efficiency.

3. Install New OSB/Plywood Under Sheathing before Adding House Wrap

When you replace your siding, it might be a great idea to add extra layers of protection underneath. OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood can be used as sheathing under the new siding. It provides a protective layer onto which the siding is then installed.

Adding this under sheathing will limit the air flow and thus help keep the heat in your home. Sheathing also helps prevent water and wind from entering your home. It strengthens your house and adds an extra layer of protection and insulation.

To keep water from entering your home even more effectively, we can install house wrap on top of the sheathing. This wrap in an extra moisture barrier, providing superior protection. Products like Hardiewrap® offer water resistance as well as breathability. This will help keep your walls dry but will not trap moisture in your walls either. House wrap is a water-resistive barrier but is not impermeable to let moisture escape. 

Installing under sheathing and house wrap under your siding will protect your house from the elements as well as varying temperatures. These layers will also help with the energy efficiency of your home.

4. New Windows

Another huge factor in your home’s energy efficiency are your windows. Having new windows installed will make a big difference for the temperature control and comfort of your home as well as your utility bill.

When the windows are of high quality with a secure connection between siding and window, it maximizes the energy efficiency. New windows will also reduce noise pollution, drafts, hot spots and condensation.

New windows will lower your energy bill by preventing heat from leaking out in the winter and cool air from your AC escaping in the summer. Additionally, installing new windows will increase your home’s resale value. They also look great and improve your home’s curb appeal.